Tag:Adrian Beltre
Posted on: October 22, 2010 2:22 pm

Taking a look at 2011 projections

Bill James, the leading sabermetrician of our time, has been hard at work on his 2011 Bill James Handbook , in which he releases projections for players.

As with all projections, James was way off on several players in his 2010 projections, but hit some on the nose and came close to many.

As James writes, it's inevitable that projections miss on some players. After all, who could have expected Jose Bautista to slam 54 home runs?

But for the most part, projections do come close to approximating what a player will do. So let's dive in and check out what Bill James thinks of several players.

Alvarez Pedro Alvarez (photo, right): The Pirates rookie got his major-league career off to a decent start in 2010, finishing at .256/.326/.461 with 16 HR. Meanwhile, Buster Posey makes Pittsburgh look silly for plucking Alvarez and Tampa Bay idiots for taking shortstop Tim Beckham. However, the Bucs may just end up loving Alvarez in 2011. James has him down for 27 home runs and 103 RBI, hitting .277/.352/.501. Sounds pretty good.

Jose Bautista : So, his his power surge for real or is there a reason Bautista never topped 16 home runs in a season before? James thinks it's for real and tabs Bautista for 34 blasts in 2011. Makes sense, as Bautista was hitting somewhat over his head and pitchers will have a better understanding of how to pitch him. He should finish at .251/.355/.509.

Josh Beckett: Boston will have plenty of reasons to be happy with its rotation next year. After Josh Beckett struggled to a 5.78 ERA in 21 starts, James feels Beckett will rebound to post a 3.86 ERA in 26 games. Couple that with John Lackey 's 33 starts of a 3.89 ERA and Daisuke Matsuzaka finding a way to overcome 73 walks for a 3.85 ERA, and you suddenly have a deep rotation that has Jon Lester up top and Clay Buchholz. An ace followed by four No. 2-3 starters? Yes please.

Adrian Beltre : Beltre re-established his value and much more in Boston, where he put Seattle and his failures therein behind him to hit .321/.365/.553. But was that just a contract-year push? Kind of. Beltre won't sniff being an MVP candidate again, as James says, but should still be worth every dollar afer hitting .283/.335/.477 in 2011.

Ryan Braun : When someone hits 33 home runs, scores 108 runs and drives in 114, that's got to be a pretty good MVP candidate. Except that Braun's 2011 projected totals may not be enough to overtake teammate Prince Fielder , who has 41 blasts projected to his name with 100 runs and 114 RBI. He's expected to hit .276/.396/.541 with Braun at .310/.372/.551.

Domonic Brown : One concern the Phillies have is how well Dominic Brown can step into the large shoes that will be vacated by Jayson Werth. Well, no problem: Brown's on pace to hit 26 homers and go .288/.346/.505. Next step for Philadelphia: finding a right-handed bat to break up Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Brown.

Halladay Roy Halladay (photo, right): A perfect game, postseason no-hitter and 2.44 ERA later and Halladay has nothing left to prove in the NL. James does see a step backwards, however, to the horrifying high of a 3.16 ERA. That ERA certainly figures to go under 3.00, but it's impossible to project anyone landing below a 3.00 ERA which is why Halladay lands at 3.16. He has compatriots Cole Hamels with a 3.45 projected ERA and Roy Oswalt at 3.38. Sounds like another NL East Division title is en route to Philly.

Derek Jeter : So, will Jeter rebound from his .270/.340/.370 showing in 2010 and be worth whatever ridiculous deal the Yankees give him in the offseason? Well, James does see a bounceback -- but his days as a legitimate All-Star are done. (Of course, he'll still be elected.) Jetes should end up at .295/.365/.410 as James guesses, not that far off from what Jeter put up in 2008.

Cliff Lee : Lee is going to make a lot of money in 2011. But interested teams may want to take a look at James' projected ERA and back away slightly. At 3.50, he would still be a good pitcher, but not great nor sublime as he has been thus far. He finished 2010 with a 3.18 ERA, 2009 with 3.22 and 2008 with 2.54, so it takes quite a leap to think Lee would go up to 3.50. A projected 49 walks will do that, even though he had an unimaginable 18 in 2010. (43 in 2009.)

Tim Lincecum : The Freak draws the honor of the lowest projected ERA, at an even 3.00 while striking out 233 batters. Lincecum will be looking to take back the Cy Young title from projected winner Roy Halladay, and so far it looks like Bill James is giving him the nod for 2011.

Jesus Montero : Do we have an early candidate for Rookie of the Year? James has Jesus Montero putting up huge numbers as a 21-year-old in the majors, banging 21 home runs and hitting .285/.348/.519. Hard to beat those numbers and power, especially at Montero's age. The only comparable is Michael Stanton.

David Ortiz : Well, even James himself can't know if Ortiz will get a third straight season off to a bad start, but regardless, Big Papi is expected to finish with 33 home runs and 112 RBI. That would be the most home runs hit since 2007 (he finished 2010 with 32). It would also be a high in RBI since 2007, along with batting average. If Ortiz can pull that line off, he'll be in line for a nice payday as a free agent.

Stanton Mike Stanton (photo, right): Stanton has already put baseball on notice as a 20-year-old. So what the heck is he to do in 2011 with a full season of playing time? That's easy -- 38 home runs. The only knock against Stanton will be that his plate discipline isn't advanced enough, leading to a .268/.335/.556 line. If he can eventually learn to take enough pitches and get the batting average over .280, he could be a mega-star.

Brian Wilson : Currently busy trying to propel the Giants to the World Series, Wilson at least can rest easy in the idea that James has him leading all closers in saves next season. He's expected to nail down 48 saves with a 3.04 ERA. The save total is exactly the same as what he ended up with in 2010, but the ERA was lower at 1.81. An xFIP of 2.99, however, backs up the projected 3.04 ERA.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: October 6, 2010 1:06 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 1:12 am

R.I.P. Red Sox: Injuries crumble promising year

RIP All eyes will be on eight teams starting Oct. 6 for yet another chapter of postseason baseball. As the sports world waits for the crowning of a new (or as the Yankees hope, repeat) champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. The Red Sox kick off the latest installment.

The Red Sox went into 2010 with an Opening Day payroll just over the luxury tax threshold. This isn't a common occurrence in Boston, as the club likes to hold cash back for midseason deals, but there was only one problem with that: Boston didn't have the depth to bank on these midseason deals coming to fruition.

In the first year of a two-year "bridge" plan to integrate top minor leaguers into the team, the Red Sox succeeded in putting together an excellent team. They just forgot to sign one person: Lady Luck.

Injuries dominated the entire season en route to an 89-win season, a failure in these parts.


Almost no one was immune from injury, with only Adrian Beltre lasting the entire season as a healthy position player. Here's a quick roundup around the diamond:

C: Victor Martinez broke his thumb and went on the disabled list for a month. Jason Varitek fractured his foot in a season similar to Dustin Pedroia's and also missed extended time. Kevin Cash and Gustavo Molina did a poor job of holding down the fort while trade-deadline acquisition Jarrod Saltalamacchia eventually caved to injury as well.

1B: Kevin Youkilis was headed to another MVP-caliber season before tearing a tendon in his right thumb, ending his season on August 3.

Dustin Pedroia 2B: Pedroia (pictured) went down with a left-foot fracture, missing almost two months before returning August 17 and quickly landing right back on the disabled list after a setback.

SS: Marco Scutaro gamely stuck in the entire season, but suffered from left-elbow tendinitis, a sore neck, a pinched nerve and a right-shoulder impingement. He eventually had to shift to second base to finish out the year once he no longer could make the throw from short. Expected backup Jed Lowrie missed the first half of the season due to mono, but could battle Scutaro for the shortstop gig in 2011.

3B: Only Beltre escaped the wrath of the injury gods.

OF: J.D. Drew somehow hung in there all season, strange from the poster boy of injuries. He paid for it with one of his worst seasons, while center fielder Mike Cameron battled kidney stones and an abdominal tear before hanging it up. Jacoby Ellsbury got a Beltre knee to the ribs and suffered through a season full of misdiagnoses, rehab, returns, setbacks and questioning of his makeup.

SP: Daisuke Matsuzaka's spring training was delayed with a sore neck among other issues, while Josh Beckett celebrated his lucrative contract extension with a back problem that knocked him out over two months with a lower back strain and couldn't put anything together on the mound.

While the bullpen didn't have many injury problems, it had plenty with ineffectiveness and was one of the worst in the leagues. The poor play of closer Jonathan Papelbon (and free-agent starting pitcher John Lackey) only served to compound matters.


Clay Buchholz took the next big step and now pairs with Jon Lester -- who cemented himself as one of the best pitchers in the game -- to give Boston a young and incredibly talented top of the rotation. While Buchholz' 2.33 ERA is unsustainably low, there's no hiding his major step forward.

Daniel Bard impressed on the mound as well en route to becoming one of the most dominant setup men in the game, with many clamoring for his ascension to the closer's role in 2011.

Bill Hall shook off the cobwebs of the last few seasons, rediscovering the power stroke that enabled him to slam 30 home runs for the Brewers. His ability to play multiple positions was a lifesaver for Boston, which was able to deploy him where there were holes. Darnell McDonald came up from the minors as a veteran and made a splash in his debut, going on to establish himself as a fourth outfielder who can start against left-handers.

Adrian Beltre had a MVP-caliber season and established himself as a strong clubhouse presence -- but not when he gets his head rubbed .


The Red Sox knew the minors wouldn't be of much help in 2011, and they were right. While players like Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick got their taste of the bigs, success was limited to just two.

One was outfielder Ryan Kalish, who imitated Sonic the Hedgehog in the outfield with his diving flip catches. Kalish struggled to adjust to major-league pitching but showed the talent and the guts to be named as a future 20 homer/20 stolen base candidate.

Felix Doubront zipped through Double- and Triple-A en route to making a few starts for Boston before joining the bullpen. Before his season was cut short to (all together now...) injury, he flashed the potential to make a major impact in the bullpen next season. His future in Boston likely lies in how the team addresses its shortcomings in the bullpen.


The Red Sox will be expected to win, as is always the case in town. Given the team doesn't have much help from the farm on the horizon, Boston will again have to turn to the free-agent market. The Red Sox have a hair over $100 million committed in 2011 salaries and only expected raises for Jacoby Ellsbury and Papelbon to factor in. That should give the team upwards of $50 million to play with, and they'll need all of it with Martinez and Beltre free agents.


Adrian Beltre Adrian Beltre should be high on the priority list. No, he won't match his 2010 levels of production, but will remain one of the best third basemen in the game. Even though all signs point to his departure, money talks -- and unlike last season, Beltre now knows what life is like in Boston and seems open to a return.

Victor Martinez should also see a return to town, as he can catch for at least a couple more seasons and give the Red Sox quality at the plate. Martinez' ability to play first base also helps matters. However, Martinez also has his own signs pointing to a departure.

If so, Boston needs to go out and get an impact bat, with five-tooler Carl Crawford the prize. Jayson Werth would also be a reliable stopgap, but nowhere near the level of Crawford. If Beltre doesn't return, Boston's best bet is to shift Youkilis to third base and go after a first baseman -- perhaps Carlos Pena. Pena combines defense and powers, and if you get lucky, can hit for a solid batting average as well.

The bullpen is a key area to be addressed and while it's not Epstein's M.O. to shell out big bucks for a bullpen (which is a sound strategy), it may be time to put that philosophy aside. Scott Downs is reliever who has two things most relievers don't: an ability to pitch with a left arm and to pitch well. Epstein needs to bring the bucks and get Downs into the fold as the complement to Daniel Bard. However, the soft underbelly of middle relief is also a problem. Fortunately, there's no shortage of strong right-handed relievers -- the only question is if Epstein will go bargain-basement hunting like usual or shell out for a solid option.


The Red Sox will come back loaded in 2011, just like they did in 2010. The minor-leagues will be one year closer to helping out, which will only serve to deepen the depth the Red Sox will need as the season winds on. Couple that with the Yankees' own question marks and the Rays' planned slashing of the budget after seeing integral parts of the team leave as free agents this offseason, and the road to the playoffs for Boston looks far less prohibitive than 2010's road did.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. teams here .

-- Evan Brunell

Join MLB Facts and Rumors at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday to chat live during the Rangers -Rays game!

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: October 2, 2010 1:34 pm

Ortiz close to DH RBI record

David Ortiz
The Red Sox don't have much on the line this weekend besides the opportunity to play spoiler for the Yankees, but David Ortiz can finish the season on top of an impressive list.

Ortiz has 102 RBIs, tied with Adrian Beltre for the club lead, and has notched his sixth career 100-RBI season -- only Ted Williams (9) and Jim Rice (8) have more in Red Sox history.

An RBI single in his last game gave Ortiz 1,000 as a designated hitter, and he's just three behind Edgar Martinez for the most runs driven in by a DH. Harold Baines is third at 978.

Ortiz is in the lineup in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, and the Red Sox play their final game of the season Sunday.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:00 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2010 6:16 pm

Beltre heading home for baby

Adrian Beltre Adrian Beltre's season with the Red Sox is done.

Beltre is headed to California as his wife is about to give birth to their third child, reports the Boston Globe .

"She did her damnedest not to have this kid," Terry Francona said. "She gave up the battle. She's getting ready to have this kid and he's leaving in a hurry."

Beltre finishes his MVP-caliber season with a .321/.365/.553 mark in 641 plate appearances, a league-leading 49 doubles and 28 homers along with 102 RBI. He also had his requisite impeccable defense, although he piled up the errors early in the season.

Beltre also commanded a presence in the locker room, becoming a leader as well as a fan favorite due to his aversion to having his head touched (something Victor Martinez made a game of) and blasting home runs on one knee.

"He's a real pro, Francona said. "He was pretty honest about what he was doing here. He was coming here on a make-good [contract]. He made pretty good. Worked out for everybody. Where it goes, that will be interesting."

  -- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 31, 2010 10:51 am
Edited on: August 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Dissecting AL MVP race

MVP award There are plenty of players in the American League who are deserving of a MVP, but only one can win and there's no shortage of top candidates this season to take home the hardware.

So who's most likely to nab the MVP? Candidates include someone who would be a Triple Crown-lock if not for career seasons by two others, a second baseman establishing himself as the best in the game and someone hitting .408 since the beginning of June.

Metrics below include batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and standard counting statistics of runs, doubles, homers and RBI. Included are also two defensive measures -- Ultimate Zone Range prorated over 150 games and Defensive Runs Saved, which is not prorated. Together, both metrics give great insight into a player's defense. Wins Above Replacement is the final statistic, combining offense and defense to come up with a number that shows how many wins above a replacement player the player provides. MVPs generally end up around 10 by the end of the season.

Adrian Beltre Adrian Beltre
Boston Red Sox
.323/.362/.551, 68 R, 38 2B, 23 HR, 88 RBI, 13.6 UZR/150, 15 DRS, 5.7 WAR

Beltre has been everything the Red Sox wanted and more. If Kevin Youkilis was healthy, he may be on this list instead of Beltre -- but he's not. Besides, Beltre plays the more demanding defensive position than Youk and other than some hiccups in the early part of the season, has been a vacuum. He's slowly becoming a cult hero in town due to his on-one-knee home runs and curious aversion to having his head touched. If Boston storms back to somehow nab a postseason spot (hint: it won't), Beltre would likely win the MVP.

Miguel Cabrera Miguel Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
.342/.437/.647, 94 R, 41 2B, 33 HR, 107 RBI, -7.5 UZR/150, -7 DRS, 6.0 WAR

Cabrera is doing it all this year: he's second in batting average, runs scored, home runs, doubles and leads the league in RBI. Just... wow. Not only is he having a Triple Crown-worthy season, he's also right there in non-Triple Crown stats like runs and doubles. His blemish is defense, where he clearly struggles which knocks his value down. If the Tigers made the playoffs, there wouldn't be much doubt about Cabrera's victory in the race. As is, however, he'll face stiff competition.

Robinson Cano Robinson Cano
New York Yankees
.325/.388/.563, 92 R, 36 2B, 26 HR, 90 RBI, 3.6 UZR/150, 12 DRS, 6.3 WAR

Cano has emerged to put together what is to date the 33rd best OPS by a second baseman in baseball's history -- with Rogers Hornsby responsible for the first five and seven of the first eight. So OK, Cano is no Hornsby but looking back at just the last 25 years, Cano's mark would rank sixth on the list. Either way you slice it, this kind of offense from a second baseman is not common. Cano doesn't have much plate discipline but that's largely irrelevant when you're hitting .325 and racking up extra-base hits. In addition, his fielding has taken another step forward. Will it be enough to finish in front of Cabrera? Given Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have all had off-seasons, it may be enough as Cano has largely carried the pinstriped offense.

Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton
Texas Rangers
.359/.411./637, 92 R, 39 2B, 31 HR, 95 RBI, 6.5 UZR/150, 5 DRS, 7.5 WAR

Since June 1, Hamilton has hit for a ridiculous .408/.459/.722 line and has combined that with strong defense to pace the AL in WAR -- no easy feat. He's certainly got to be considered the prohibitive favorite for the MVP, as the Rangers are 8 1/2 games ahead in first, headed to their first postseason berth since 1999. While Hamilton won't get the Triple Crown, a sizzling finish could vault him ahead of Cabrera in home runs and RBI -- leaving his only roadblock to the coveted distinction Jose Bautista's 42 dingers.

Evan Longoria Evan Longoria
Tampa Bay Rays
.297/.372/.514, 83 R, 42 2B, 19 HR, 88 RBI, 11.6 UZR/150, 13 DRS, 5.8 WAR

The AL East boasts three candidates, which just goes to show you how competitive the division is with three playoff-caliber teams, with Longoria a big part of one of them in the Rays. He's among the game's premier defenders and while you'd like to see more home runs out of a MVP candidate, he's been Tampa's most consistent and elite offensive performer. However, his numbers just don't stack up to anyone else on the list except Beltre.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 26, 2010 1:38 pm

Beltre upset about ejection

Adrian Beltre
The Red Sox were fuming after Wednesday night's game, angry about losing their best player for most of a big game due to a mistake by a fill-in umpire.

After being called out on strikes in the second inning, Beltre told home plate umpire Dan Bellino he thought the final pitch was low. Bellino said it was a strike, and Beltre walked away. Arguing balls and strikes is a no-no, but respectfully asking about the location of a pitch is usually OK.

At the end of the inning, as Beltre went out to man third base, he exchanged some smack talk in Spanish with Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez. The former teammates had "a little bet," as Beltre put it -- Hernandez said he was going to strike Beltre out three times, and Beltre said he was going to homer.

Well, Bellino, a 32-year-old Triple-A ump who is a vacation fill-in, thought Beltre was jawing at him over the strike call. He tossed Beltre, then manager Terry Francona, who came out to argue.

"A young umpire got in the midst of something he didn’t know," Francona told reporters after the game. "That shouldn’t have happened. It’s a shame. Beltre was just having fun with Felix. He wasn’t even talking to [Bellino]. That was unfortunate."

Boston lost 4-2, leaving Red Sox fans envisioning the three-run homer Beltre surely would have hit if he hadn't been tossed.
"It’s frustrating to have a rookie umpire doing something like that, especially with how important this game is for us,’’ Beltre said. “I’m not even facing him. I wasn’t talking to him. I was talking Spanish and he’s behind my back. So how can he take the initiative to take me out of the game in the second inning?’’

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 12, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 2:37 pm

Beltre gaining cult hero status

Adrian Beltre Adrian Beltre is growing in popularity in Boston.

Beltre has been a sensation so far this year and is being bandied about as a MVP candidate. Despite 15 errors on the season, most early on, eltre's vacuum has been a welcome addition to the infield, and his .335/.374/.574 line through Wednesday's games in 460 plate appearances commands attention. Some of his 21 home-runs include swinging by the seat of his pants so hard he actually takes a knee to loft home runs.

Couple that with the always-entertaining saga of Victor Martinez trying to touch Beltre's head after any big play much to Beltre's chagrin, and you have a fan favorite growing before your very eyes.

Take the recent explosion on Twitter of Adrian Beltre Facts. Matt Wieters had his own facts a year ago, now Beltre takes center stage. Consider some of the following gems:
Adrian Beltre has never hit into a fielder's choice. The choice is up to him. -- @mlaprey

Alex Rodriguez wears Adrian Beltre pajamas. -- @redsoxredshoes

Adrian Beltre knows what's inside Marcellus Wallace's briefcase. -- @HackswithHaggs (referring to Pulp Fiction )

Even Chuck Norris is afraid to touch Adrian Beltre's head. -- @b_bas

The reason you kneel when you pray is because Adrian Beltre kneels when he swings. -- @brianmacp

Adrian Beltre hasn't made 15 errors, the official scorers have. -- @DanielRathman

Adrian Beltre didn't just understand the "Sopranos" finale. He lived it.  -- @KenDavidoff (referring to The Sopranos )

When Beltre punched HIS father-in-law, the guy thanked HIM. --@NYYHATER
(referring to the K-Rod incident Wednesday night)
You can see more right here .

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 3, 2010 9:51 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2010 12:20 am

Benches clear in Sox/Indians game

Adrian Beltre In a season devoid of major bench-clearing incidents, the Red Sox and Indians made things intriguing in the bottom of the eighth inning on Tuesday.

While no punches were exchanged, benches and bullpens cleared after Indians reliever Jensen Lewis popped Adrian Beltre in the back, much to the third baseman's chagrin. Beltre had words for Lewis while the catcher and umpire blocked Beltre's path to first base. As Beltre continued yapping, the benches cleared.

Tempers were hot because Justin Germano had thrown behind David Ortiz in the seventh inning, Ortiz avoiding the plunking by doing a two-step. The Indians were out for blood after Boston had hit two Indians earlier in the game.

In the first, Josh Beckett's inside fastball sailed a little too inside to Shelley Duncan, coming off a four-hit game the night prior. Duncan took first base without incident, but Beckett came back with a heater that drilled Shin-Soo Choo right in the knee in the third inning. Choo was down for a few minutes before taking first.

Things were then quiet until the attempt to bop Ortiz.

Once benches cleared, Beckett -- who was technically still in the game, after having pitched the eighth frame, but whose night was done -- clearly sparked the fire by yelling at various Indians. Duncan then decided to give Beckett some unkind words back, at which point the big John Lackey inserted himself in front of Beckett and Duncan, scowling and looking like an imposing bouncer at the bar.

Players were beginning to separate as umpires attempted to push Boston pitching coach John Farrell back to the dugout. Terry Francona was in the midst of exchanging words with third-base coach Steve Smith. Something really must have stoked Francona's fire, as he suddenly flipped the switch and became furious, causing the umpires to have to intervene and the players to come scurrying back to mill around some more. Francona rarely gets mad at a member of the opposition, and it was a startling sight to see him get so hot under the collar.

"I just got a little aggravated," Francona said after the game. "[I'll] cut back on the Red Bull tomorrow."

The umpires tossed Jensen Lewis from the game, who ended up throwing the single pitch for his night. Smith also joined Lewis in the clubhouse while Beckett was also tossed, which was unimportant as he was already leaving the game. Beckett tossed eight frames, allowing just three hits, zero walks and eight whiffs.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com